Writer Profile: Ericka Short
Interviewed by Michelle Roach
Question: When did you first start writing? What interested you in writing for a blog?
Answer: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and wrote poetry a lot. I have always kept a journal and still write in it once in a while. It’s easy on my phone to record my thoughts and things I hear. I heard about through the NFB listserv, and circulated it to people I knew who are now also writing for the blog. I write for the blog because the more education [about blindness and visual impairment] the public has as well as friends and families of those who are blind, the better off we all are!
Question: What is your favorite thing to write about?
Answer: Real stuff. I’m a sporadic writer…I write when the spirit moves me! But usually I’m writing about something I heard on the TV or answering a question that someone asked me, because in order to bridge the gap between the blind and sighted world, you answer people’s questions. I’m a bit proponent of education, and this is one way to educate people.
Question: Is there any subject that you would never write about? What is it?
Answer: …A guide dog, I have no experience with them! But really, there’s very little I wouldn’t write about. I’m the one that suggested we write dating pieces because a lot of people have anxiety and questions about that, about whether or not their son or daughter will ever get married…yes, we get married, we get divorced, the whole thing! We’re not sideliners.
Question: Do you have any unique writing habits?
Answer: I’ve always been a notebook-aholic, I write everything down in there! I can’t always read it all, and I’m maybe the most unorganized blind person there is!
Question: Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Answer: I have lots of people in different realms of my life that inspire me. I have read guest sermons at church in the past, and it’s a great feeling when people tell me that they learned something new because of the way I said it. But my parents and my grandparents are my biggest fans. I definitely have several angels that don’t know there my angels that inspire me.
Question: What are some of your other talents or hobbies?
Answer: I love to travel and learning about other cultures. People fascinate me! I don’t know if it’s a talent or a rarity that I still write letters to people and put a stamp on them. I remember birthdays, and I’m a lifelong learner. It’s our joke at church that I’ve done everything but preached – doing children’s sermons, served, wrote articles, and plan events. I’m also a quote-aholic.
Question: What has writing about your experiences with blindness/visual impairment done for you?
Answer: I hadn’t done a lot of writing in a while, and The Outlook From Here rekindled my love for writing. I was always writing for others, but now I’m writing from me and others can benefit from what I’m writing. I love words and I’m happy to have a place to share them and make a difference.
Question: If someone was thinking about starting a blog, what advice would you give them?
Answer: Don’t do it alone, and don’t limit yourself as far as topics go. Don’t be afraid about what you put out there!
Question: What are you working on now? What is your next project (writing or otherwise)?
Answer: I’m looking forward to writing about my experience with Habitat for Humanity. I was not seen as any different during my time there, and the AmeriCorps folks were very helpful. I told them, “I’m here to work; please teach me everything, I want to learn everything,” and I helped with all kinds of things! I really want people to understand that this is a great opportunity to give back.
My book isn’t written yet, and I can’t see what comes next!
Erica Short lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her motto is, “Blindness doesn’t hold me back – attitudes do. I believe in sharing my story and positive attitude with others because if I don’t those lucky enough to be born with a disability won’t have the opportunities to share their gifts. The more we are seen as people who happen to have some cool alternative moves the more doors open for employment, community involvement and so much more. Just dream!” Read her full bio here.
Featured image is Ericka smiling for the camera!